Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker made the announcement to Johnson during Fox Sports' halftime show of the NFC divisional round matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night.
Johnson was emotional upon receiving the surprising news, as was his former quarterback Troy Aikman, who was seen tearing up as he heard the segment from the broadcast booth in Green Bay.
"The only thing I can think of is all of the assistant coaches that worked for me, all the great players that played for me, they're the reason I'm here," Johnson said. "I can't talk. This is so special to me, because when you've put in the work that we put in it's nice to know people appreciate it."
Johnson, who currently serves as an NFL analyst for Fox, won two Super Bowls with the Cowboys and helped construct the bulk of the roster that won a third championship for Dallas after his departure.
The Hall of Fame's 2020 class was chosen by a blue-ribbon panel last week. The remainder of the 15-member class will be unveiled Wednesday.